Seniors with medical needs and low incomes may qualify for assisted living financial assistance in Iowa. The state Medicaid program operates the Elderly Waiver, which may provide funding for people to receive services in approved assisted living communities. It operates countywide throughout the state and is open to all qualifying Iowans. However, it isn’t an entitlement program, so those who qualify may still need to wait for services. Individuals can apply for waiver services through their local county office for the Iowa Department of Human Services.

Who Qualifies for Iowa’s Elderly Waiver?

Individuals must meet strict eligibility criteria to receive funding via the Elderly Waiver. They must also undergo an assessment by the Medical Services Unit. On top of the requirements for general Medicaid eligibility, seniors must:

  • Fulfill citizenship conditions
  • Be permanent residents of Iowa
  • Be 65 years old or above
  • Need nursing home level of care
  • Have a maximum income of $2,742 per month
  • Have maximum assets of $2,000

What Services Does Assisted Living Financial Assistance Cover?

Waiver funding may cover a range of services in Iowa’s assisted living facilities. Services are tailored to meet individual’s requirements and typically include assistance with daily activities, such as eating, dressing and bathing. Communities often offer a maintenance-free lifestyle where chores such as housework, laundry and meal preparation are included. Seniors usually have the opportunity to join diverse daily activities and access a range of on-site facilities. Waiver recipients are also eligible to receive standard Medicaid services, such as transportation to medical appointments and rehabilitation therapies. The Elderly Waiver doesn’t cover the cost of room and meals in assisted living communities, so seniors need to pay the difference themselves.